Latino Influx Brings Change to Huntington Park

In response to "Cultures Follow Separate Paths in Huntington Park" (front page, April 7).

It was nice reading about my hometown of Huntington Park. However, the "old Huntington Park" was not in the early 1960s, and many of the town's settlers were not "transplanted 'Okies' who escaped the Dust Bowl misery during the Depression." In the early 1930s, Huntington Park was already an established, rather snobbish, bedroom community for professional people who worked in Los Angeles or owned the surrounding manufacturing plants and local businesses.

It cost only 4 cents to ride into L.A. on the streetcar at that time and Huntington Park, because of the excellent shopping, was the hub of the neighboring small towns. A 15-minute ride out of town would put you in the middle of the famous California orange groves where the sky was always blue and the air was filled with the smell of orange blossoms in bloom. When the original "Okies" came west they lived in cardboard piano boxes and tents on the vacant lots of Bell Gardens.

During the late 1950s, Huntington Park began a slow decline and would surely have ended up as a forgotten "has been" town. How wonderful that the Latinos have revived the spirit of Huntington Park and are giving it a new lease on life.

DOROTHY CROWLEY-CAVECCHE

Palos Verdes Estates

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